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Chrysler resists call to recall 2.7m Jeep vehicles
Aggregated Source: Shanghai Daily: Business

CHRYSLER Group LLC, in a rare move, is resisting a push by US regulators to recall 2.7 million older model Jeep vehicles, saying that the request is based on an "incomplete analysis of the underlying data."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asked for the recall on Monday after an investigation of the vehicles' fuel tanks. Chrysler has been working with NHTSA on it for nearly three years.

The NHTSA is seeking to recall the Jeep Grand Cherokee for model years 1993 to 2004 and the Jeep Liberty model years 2002 to 2007. The agency said the models have fuel tanks behind the axle, which leave them less protected in a rear-end collision and could potentially cause a fuel leak and lead to fire.

Chrysler, the US automaker majority-owned by Fiat, said in a statement on Tuesday that it does not intend to recall the SUVs as they are safe.

"The company stands behind the quality of its vehicles," Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said in the statement. "All of us remain committed to continue working with NHTSA to provide information confirming the safety of these vehicles."

It is unusual for automakers to challenge NHTSA on such safety issues. In a statement, David Strickland, the top US automotive safety official, urged Chrysler to reconsider its decision.

"The driving public should know that NHTSA is actively investigating this issue and is requesting that Chrysler initiate a safety recall and notify all affected owners of the defect," he said.

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